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EPA Science Matters: September 25, 2018

Wildland fires pose many obstacles for air quality monitoring because of high concentrations of air pollutants, high temperatures, rugged terrain, and other challenges. EPA and partners created the Wildland Fire Sensors Challenge to develop air monitoring instruments that could handle these conditions. Read about how the recently announced winners developed their technology.

Does lightning contribute to air pollution? Lightning-generated nitrogen oxides have a relatively small but potentially significant impact on ground-level ozone. EPA researchers are using innovative air quality models to measure these impacts.

The chemical read-across approach uses information about a chemical with known data to make a prediction about another chemical that is “similar” but does not have as much data. To improve this method, EPA researchers have developed an automated read-across tool called Generalized Read-Across. This work is part of EPA’s ongoing effort to develop faster methods to evaluate chemicals for potential health effects. 

Are you interested in the potential ecological effects of chemicals? EPA’s web-based Ecotoxicology Knowledgebase houses toxicity effects data on over 11,000 chemicals and 12,000 species, including aquatic life, terrestrial plants, and wildlife. Users can explore the curated data on the effects, if any, of specific chemicals on different species of fish or native plants.